A Story of Body Acceptance

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by Bronwyn O’Neill

Since I was around twelve or thirteen, I realised my body would never fit the stick figure body type. It wasn’t something I was over excited about. In my eyes, tall, skinny girls were the most beautiful things ever. However being five foot three, I knew I would never reach the tall part of my dream girl.

I struggled with being curvy when every “pretty” girl I knew was so tiny. To me, that body standard was the norm. And that was the only figure that meant anything. They were the beautiful ones and I would never reach that.

One of the prettiest girls I knew was a tiny size six, with an A-cup bra size. By the time I was thirteen I was wearing a D-cup bra. I used to get so nervous before going to get a bra fitting. What if I had gone up in size? The usual answer was yes.

I would get so upset when the lady who measured me told me my new size. Afterwards, I would have to trawl through ugly, beige bras. Every time I went shopping in my early teens, I would look at the gorgeous bras that were aimed towards A and B cups. Envy would make my blood boil. Why couldn’t they make them three or four sizes bigger?

The larger bra size did not cater towards young girls. They were either too maternal or too sexy. Neither of which I felt at the age of thirteen. So, I donned my beige bra and glared enviously at the pretty floral bras.

Having a fuller bust made it difficult to do PE. Sports bras barely fit over my chest, so I tended to get moody around the time of exercise. For five out of the six years of my secondary school life, my PE teacher was male. So, they would never understand my pain at holding my boobs while jogging the length of the gym.

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Another thing that made me uncomfortable about having a fuller figure was the leering looks. At the age of fifteen I ventured into the big city of Dublin for my Transition Year work experience. I was wearing a blouse or something professional for my first day of “work”. I innocently asked the gruff bus driver for a child’s ticket into the city centre. His gaze dropped from my face to my breasts and asked me what age I was.

My whole face drained of colour and I had never been so nervous whilst I replied with a dry mouth my age. He shrugged and gave me my ticket. But I was still shaken until I arrived at the building where I was to work for five days. Yes, I was fifteen and yes I had boobs and hips. My top wasn’t inappropriate, a problem I had with most tops. It was not low cut but still my boobs were brought into question.

Of course, I thought that if I was smaller this would never happen. If I fitted that beautiful model body, I would never get unwanted attention like that. Only boys my own age would think I was stunning. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.

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Another part of having a “curvy” body type, are wide hips. These are still a challenge whilst trying to squeeze into seats in lecture halls. However, the first time I really noticed this was on a swing. Yes, I was on a swing. I was visiting my little cousins and I was playing outside with them. I tried to fit into the swing seat, a seat I had fitted comfortably into only a few months prior. My hips were squeezed into the now narrow seat.

So, my hips had widened and how I had to face it. In school, trying to squeeze into narrow desks was a struggle. At times I would hit tables with my hips or my ass and try to play it off. I could fake joke about it, except I didn’t find it funny. Still everyone was so tiny and skinny, no boobs, no hips. It was still the perfect body to me.

It wasn’t until around a year ago when I finally got comfortable with my body. Unfortunately, it took me this long because in my opinion popular culture doesn’t promote curvy women. In any tv show or film, the main character is a stunning stick figure girl. Any curvy women, like Nicki Minaj or Kim Kardashian, are mostly ridiculed for their body type. Maybe because they are sexualised in the public eye. I don’t know. However, I felt this negative view from a young age.

Getting into a positive mind set about my body was difficult. However I now am more comfortable with my curves. Of course, I still think that the skinny, model figure is the most beautiful body type. Although, now I am happy that I don’t fit into that body type. My curves make me who I am, they make me unique.

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Now we need to make the curvy, fuller sized girl a positive thing. Not a sexualised body type, especially for young girls. And to end on a cheesy note, to  all the young girls out there struggling with their body image, whether it be you feel too skinny or too heavy, you are still beautiful and you need to love yourself no matter what.

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A Tale of Two Bras: Big Boobs vs Small Boobs

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Big Boob Problems

By Bronwyn O’Neill

Big boobs are great, I hear you cry in disdain. “I wish my boobs were that size!” Really? I’m here to tell you that you certainly do not want to be a busty girl. Here are my top ten reasons why having big boobs is a serious burden.

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1. Eye contact

My eyes are up here you creep. Even if you’re wearing a polo neck, everyone is going to stare at them.

2. Swimsuits

If you’re like me and cannot pull off a bikini body, then you have no way of wearing a one-piece. Your boobs have no support and are frankly horrible. Woe is me!

3.Exercise

Running is a big no. You can’t do it because you’re terrified of giving yourself a black eye. So you’re pretty much stuck with being fat. Great! Even going downstairs is a struggle, hold onto them if you want to be safe.

4. Sports bras

In case you look at number 3 and say “BUY A SPORTS BRA!” Well I can’t if I want to breathe.  And I’d prefer to breathe than be skinny. Sports bras are physically impossible to buy in the right size. It’s like wearing a corset!

5. Going braless

Simply not an option. I’m sorry, but it cannot be done. Unless you wish to cause injuries to yourself and people around you.

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 6. Food

Food will fall down your top and find a new home in your cleavage. There is nothing worse than having to root for that pesky popcorn at the cinema. Well, perhaps when you take your bra off and find it there. Ew.

7. Quad boob

So you get a bra! YAY! However, the bra squeezes your boobs so tight that it makes it look like you actually have four breasts. Great! So, you keep having to readjust your bra and look like a complete twat.

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8. Clothes

Oh you like button up shirts? No you do not. You can’t wear them without the fear of them exploding at any moment. You can’t wear any low cut top because your breasts physically assault people. Great! Not to mention wearing any kind of strapless dress is out of the question.

9. Bra choice

Go into Penneys and they promise they have cup sizes DD-F. Sure they do. In about three bras and they probably won’t have anything your precise size. So a bra for under €20 is off the table. So you tottle over to a more expensive shop to spend over €30 on a nude bra that looks like something an OAP would wear. Sigh.

10. Back Pain

It’s like you’re eighty not eighteen. You bend over to pick up something on the floor and you might as well just lie down there and die. Even if you sit down wrong it hurts. Add period cramps into this and you’re basically the anti- Christ to anyone who tries to speak to you.

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With all that being said, I don’t think I’d change them for the world.

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Small Boob Problems

by Laura Horan

Anyone with small boobs will understand the daily struggle of not waking up to a pair of beautiful big breasts!! Here are just some of the many problems with small boobs that busty girls just don’t understand.

1. Small boobs can make you feel so masculine!! Sometimes I wonder if I went swimming in a pair of boys trunks and topless would anyone notice that I am actually a woman. I might as well go the gym and build big muscles and tell people I’m a man!

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2. The pain we go through from wearing tight bras is unbelievable! I want to wear my new low cut top without people making the mistake of thinking my chest is an ironing board! So I wear a smaller size bra and tighten the straps to make some sort of cleavage and later discover I have sore red lines all over my back and shoulders… not nice.

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3. I don’t think clothing manufacturers understand that small breasted woman wear sports bras too and that it also hurts us when were jogging. Every sports bra I have tried does not support my boobies- small boobs need support also!

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4. When you have small boobs and you start to gain weight on your stomach you can look so much bigger then what you really are because your boobs don’t go over your stomach! You feel like you need to lose weight when really you’re a perfectly normal size.

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5. The awkward moment when your partner tries to squeeze your boobs and he’s struggling to get a grip because there’s nothing there to grab… PLEASE STOP!

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6. When your friend’s boobs are so much bigger than yours and it’s selfie time but their boobs take over the picture and you can barely see you in it.

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7. Constantly getting called `no tits` `pancake boobs` or what my little cousin calls me `golf ball boobs`. Yes fun times…

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8. The constant problem of going into a shop and seeing a beautiful dress then picking it up and realising it’s backless. For me, the thought of going braless scares me to death!! All I can think about is everyone staring and judging my small boobs! No thank you, I’ll pass on that.

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9. BIKINIS! Firstly why can you not change bottom and top sizes in most shops! Sorry my small boobs don’t match my big bum but do you really have to call the manager because I’m trying to buy a size 6 bra with a size 12 bottoms!! Secondly, why is there not a selection of padded bikinis ranging from slightly padded to extremely padded? There’s only no padding or maxi padding. No padding: everyone stares at my flat chest. Maxi padding: everyone stares at my extremely padded breasts thinking `who is she trying to fool? `.

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10. The scary moment when it’s time for your partner to see your boobs! They have only ever seen you in clothes with a maxi bra underneath and his expectations have been deceived. PLEASE DON’T HATE MY SMALL BOOBS!!

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11. Wondering if you will be able to breast feed a child…

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12. Your mom telling you every year since you were 13 that they will grow when you’re older and every birthday measuring your boobs. Then BOOM, you’re 18 and they still haven’t grown.

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13. When your friends with bigger boobs complain about their boobs and tell you you’re so lucky and you just want to cut their boobs off and put them on yours.

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14. When you go through the stuffing your bra phase and your chicken fillet falls out and all the boys laugh at you…

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But then you realise that even with these problems you’re still fabulous and rock the no boobs look!